Alumni Connections - No. 45 - April 2008

Alumni Connections is a sampling of alumni news. Alumni on the Move, Alumni to Know, CEO Watch: Taking the Lead, and CEO Watch: Making Headlines share news gleaned from media online and in print, including news submitted to Chicago Booth Magazine. Submit information about yourself or fellow alumni to

Alumni on the Move

Judy Brown, ’98 (EXP-3),
has been appointed to the board of directors and will join the audit committee. Based in Richmond, Indiana, Belden makes electronic cables and other connectivity products. Brown is executive vice president, CFO, and chief accounting officer of Perrigo Company.

Bentley Systems, Incorporated
Edward Mueller, ’84,
has joined as chief marketing officer. The software company is headquartered in Exton, Pennsylvania.

Charles Industries Ltd.
Minesh Patel, ’95,
has been appointed vice president of Charles Telecommunications Group’s outside plant business unit. Headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, the company makes products for the telecommunications, marine, and industrial markets.

Christian Brothers Investment Services
Kathleen Flanagan, ’82,
has been appointed to the board of directors. The New York–based investment firm manages financial assets for Catholic institutions.

DLA Piper
William Rudnick, ’97 (XP-66),
has been named managing partner of the Chicago office, the firm’s largest. A member of the firm’s real estate and corporate practice groups, he also chairs the firm’s nonprofit and philanthropy practice group.

Duff & Phelps
Andreas Stoecklin, ’06 (EXP-11),
has been promoted to director. Stoecklin joined the firm’s German office as a vice president in 2007. The financial advisory firm is headquartered in New York.

ECG Management Consultants, Inc.
Cayce Truong, ’94,
has returned to the firm as senior manager in its Seattle headquarters, after serving as a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

First Analysis Securities
Alan Bernstein, ’83,
has joined as senior vice president. The financial services firm is based in Chicago.

Global Financial Analytics LLC
Rory Walck, ’81,
has cofounded the consulting firm, which is based in Fairfax, Virginia, and focuses on quantitative aspects of international commercial and investment treaty arbitration and domestic litigation and arbitration.

Harald Quandt Holding and HQ Trust
Markus Stadlmann, ’99 (EXP-4),
has joined the German financial service provider as chief investment officer and managing director.

Hercules Incorporated
Allan Cohen, ’83,
has been elected to the board of directors. Based in Washington DC, the company makes chemicals used in manufacturing home, office, and industrial products. Cohen is a former managing director with First Analysis Corporation.

Hilton Hotels Corporation
Steven Goldman, ’90,
has been appointed president of global development and real estate. The hotel company is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.

Damien Duhamel, ’05 (AXP-4),
has joined as managing director Asia Pacific. KAE is a strategic marketing consultancy that delivers evidence-based, strategic marketing advice to Fortune 500 companies. KAE has offices in London, Washington DC, Singapore, and Shanghai, and is listed on the London stock exchange.

Kaman Corp.
Neal Keating, ’88 (XP-57),
has been named chairman of the board of directors. He is president and CEO. Based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, the company distributes aerospace and industrial parts.

Kraft Foods
Michael Osanloo, ’96,
has joined as executive vice president, strategy, of the Northfield, Illinois–based food and beverage company.

Midwest Banc Holdings Inc.
JoAnn Lilek, ’83,
has been named executive vice president and CFO. The retail and commercial bank is headquartered in Melrose Park, Illinois.

Minnetronix, Inc.
Kevin Krumm, ’03,
has joined as CFO. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the company designs and makes electronic medical devices.

Penn Treaty American Corporation
Jim Von Bruchhaeuser, ’82,
has been appointed executive vice president and chief marketing officer. The insurance company is headquartered in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Portola Packaging, Inc.
John LaBahn, ’96 (XP-65),
has joined as senior vice president and CFO. Based in Batavia, Illinois, the company designs and makes tamper-evident plastic closures for beverage containers.

The PrivateBank
John Falb, ’92,
has joined as managing director and head of the firm’s Minneapolis office. The firm is a unit of PrivateBancorp, Inc.

Jennifer Ewing Parkhurst, ’99,
has been promoted to partner. The management consultant firm is headquartered in Mountain View, California.

Sideman & Bancroft LLP
James Janz, MBA ’79, JD ’79,
has joined as partner. He practices real estate and land use law at the San Francisco–based firm.

Peter Piotrowski, ’95 (XP-40),
has been appointed senior vice president for the process technology and equipment business unit. A subsidiary of Honeywell’s specialty materials segment, it develops and licenses technologies used for processing chemicals. The firm is headquartered in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Verenium Corporation
Janet Roemer, ’87,
has been appointed executive vice president, specialty enzymes business, and regional executive for west coast operations. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company develops environmentally friendly and renewable transportation fuel.

Alumni to Know

Gerald Beeson, ’99, chief operating officer of Citadel Investment Group LLC, has launched two new businesses, according to a February 18 profile in Crain’s Chicago Business. They are Citadel Alternative Asset Management, which is a fund of hedge funds, and Citadel Solutions, which is for hedge fund administration, the article said. Citadel, a Chicago-headquartered financial institution, focuses on alternative investment strategies and services. Identifying new revenue-producing businesses is job one for Beeson, the article said. “There are things that start with a white paper or on a white board in a room, and the question is: How are we going to turn that into something that’s going to be profitable?” Beeson said. Part of the answer, he said, is helping to “draw new talent.”

Katie Das, ’03, and her handmade-caramel business were featured in a March 13 article in the Chicago Reader. Das has “pounded the pavement to get her caramels on shelves in places like Whole Foods, Intelligentsia, Sam’s, and Pastoral, and makes the deliveries herself,” the article said. Das tinkered with a recipe she discovered in France, and came up with four flavors for her caramels: lavender, lemon and honey, orange and honey, and chocolate walnut, the article said. “She’s already planning to launch another line of sweets based on a recipe from a different part of the world. But she’s keeping the idea to herself for now,” the article said. A former marketing manager in new product development at Wrigley, Das said in the article: “I learned a lot about candy marketing and consumer behavior when it comes to indulgence.”

Tim Lobner, ’06, vice president of Dallas-based developer Trammell Crow Company’s Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, office was featured in a Q and A in the (Oklahoma City) Oklahoman newspaper. Lobner said his U.S. naval service aboard submarines helped him to develop “my inquisitive nature that I have relied upon when analyzing real estate deals during the due-diligence phase. Large real estate acquisitions are rarely based on gut feelings. Instead, they are based upon detailed analysis and careful refinement of assumptions. The attention to detail is no different than that which was necessary when conducting surveillance missions aboard the submarine,” he told the paper.

Lydia McKinley-Floyd, ’75,was featured in a Black History Month article published February 27 on Floyd is the dean of Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry. When asked about her race-relations role model, McKinley-Floyd said: “Obviously, the immediate person you think of is Dr. Martin Luther King for his stance on nonviolence. But when you think of Dr. King, Gandhi must come to mind. It is most difficult to be a peacemaker, especially in the face of oppression. And, of course, my mother who is my example of an open, fair-minded person.”

Oscar Mayer president Nick Meriggioli, AB ’85, MBA ’87, was one of about 150 Kraft executives who offered suggestions last year to the food giant’s executive team about how to reorganize the company, said a February 18 article on, a Crain’s publication. Recent changes gave Meriggioli control of his budget, research and development, and sales and marketing, the article said. He has been overseeing production of a beefier-tasting hot dog, its first reformulation in 20 years, in the hopes of better competing with archrival Sara Lee Corp.’s Ball Park Franks, the article said. “This is a very big change, and nothing is bigger for Oscar Mayer than hot dogs,” Meriggioli said. “The decision to improve the quality of our beef hot dog was to set us apart from our competition.”

Carlos Minetti, ’86, executive vice president of Discover Financial Services, told the Chicago Tribune in a February 17 article that he first got interested in commercial credit during a summer internship at Peru’s largest bank, Banco Continental. “I was assigned to review business loan applications,” he said. “The bank wasn’t very sophisticated. Most lending was done on a relationship basis. I was asked to develop a structure to analyze and rate commercial loans. It was fascinating.” Minetti said he learned the most from listening to his dad and grandfather talk about business. “They taught me to work hard, be resilient, and the importance of motivating your people by keeping them happy, treating them well,” he said in the article. Best advice he ever received: “When you’re in business, manage it as if you were the owner.”

Hyatt chairman Thomas Pritzker, MBA ’76, JD ’76, wants to build Hyatt’s presence in the Middle East and South Asia, he said in a March 7 article on To that end, Global Hyatt Corporation will bring hundreds of top managers and officials to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for a company conference to glimpse “what the world can be,” Pritzker said in the article. “We want to make sure that the leadership of our company sees it and understands it.” Hyatt has three hotels in Dubai and recently opened a development office there. “We have been quite active in the region,” he said. Growth potential lies in China, India, Russia and the former Soviet states, and the Middle East, Pritzker said.

David Rudis, AB ’75, MBA ’76, Illinois president for Bank of America Corp., is planning for growth, including adding branches in collar counties, he said in a March 9 article in the Chicago Tribune. Bank of America late last year acquired LaSalle Bank, the Chicago area’s second largest bank, from Dutch parent ABN Amro, the article said. Rudis had headed LaSalle’s retail operations. While 2,500 merger-related job cuts are expected over the next two years in Illinois, the Tribune said, so are additions. “We’re already recruiting in certain areas of the bank,” Rudis said. “Right now, all major parts of the bank are showing nice growth.”

Tom Tryon, ’72, longest-serving supervisor of Calaveras County in California, is seeking another four-year term, said a February 26 article in the Calaveras Enterprise. When he finishes his sixth term this year he will be the fourth longest-running county supervisor in the state, the article said. “I find it very challenging and I find it rewarding when we get things done properly,” Tryon told the newspaper. A consistent vision and policy is important, he said, particularly for development. Because development projects often can take years to be approved, a familiar face in government is important to developers, Tryon said.

CEO Watch: Taking the Lead

Ersin Akyuz, ’88

CEO and Executive Member of the Board of Directors for Turkey, Deutsche Bank

Akyuz has 19 years experience in the banking sector. The global bank is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany.

CEO Watch: Making Headlines

Fanny Lai, ’06 (AXP-5)

Group CEO, Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Lai “is a queen of the jungle—of sorts,” said a February 22 article in the Straits Times. That is because Lai is group CEO at Wildlife Reserves Singapore. As such she is bringing operations of the Jurong BirdPark under her umbrella organization, which also includes the Singapore Zoo and Night Safari, the article said. After revamping exhibits at both parks, the number of visitors has grown by 100,000 a year under Lai’s watch; now she is instituting “Park-Hopper” tickets, a “passport to all three attractions at one price,” the article said. Lai told the Straits Times that she aims “to raise the bar for service excellence.”

Making Headlines

Mary Tolan, ’92 (XP-61)

CEO, Accretive Health

Tolan built the $250 million company in four years, said the March 3 cover story in Crain’s Chicago Business. “My objective is just to be a happy, confident capitalist,” Tolan said in the article. The company helps hospitals accrue more revenue by qualifying more patients for insurance reimbursements, the article said. Accretive is growing 50 percent a year and may go public as soon as next year, Crain’s said. A fan of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, Tolan agreed to head the startup upon discovering that hospitals leak more revenue than any other industry, the article said, with a market Tolan estimated at $50 billion. “This got my heart a-fluttering,” she said.

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